Family generations spanning over a century and six different women came together earlier this year in a photo that has since gone viral on the internet. According to ABC News, Cordelia Mae Hawkins, 98, a matriarch on the cusp of becoming a centenarian, got to meet her 7-week-old great-great-great-granddaughter, Zhavia.
“That’s almost a hundred years between them,” Gracie Howell, 59, the baby girl’s great-grandmother, told USA TODAY. “To be in the same room, it was just amazing,” Howell stated that the family is delighted to have so many generations still alive.
According to Guinness World Records, they are not far off the record for the most living generations of one family, which is seven. The five adult women all had certain unique physical features, according to Howell, and each became a mother at the same period in her life.
They came from Ohio, South Carolina, and Kentucky to take the picture. The people in the photo are:
• Cordelia Mae Hawkins, 98
• Frances Snow, 77
• Gracie Howell, 59
• Jacqueline Ledford, 40
• Jaisline Wilson, 19
• Zhavia Whitaker, 7 weeks
In an interview, Howell remembered about her grandmother, Hawkins, who reared children in rural Kentucky in a two-bedroom house with no running water and a wood-burning stove in the living room to keep the family warm. Dozens of family members would gather at the home on Sunday afternoons for dinners and annual celebrations honoring Howell’s late grandpa.
According to Howell, the women shot the photo to preserve family traditions and because nothing beats meeting loved ones in person. She recalled how, as a child growing up before the internet, there was sometimes little to do on weekends except see aunts and uncles and play with cousins.
“You were sitting down, having meals with your extended family,” she said. “Now it’s just so easy to stay at home and send a card and get on Facebook and share all your stuff like that.” “But I think that sometimes we just kind of get lost in our own lives,” she added.
Howell, who lives near Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, said she took the picture to a local weatherman, who instantly shared it with a wide network on Facebook.
According to Howell, news outlets all across the country wanted to convey the story behind the picture. “Time goes by so fast,” Howell said. “I think that was another thing I really wanted people to understand because, even in our own family, we have mothers who don’t talk to daughters. You know, there’s family dynamics.”
Howell thinks the photo, which has already been shown on Good Morning America and Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update, shows to people that “it’s important to just let bygones be bygones and family to be family,” she says.